What Happens at Tulane Doesn’t Stay at Tulane…

“Tulane University is a force for good at the local, regional and global levels.”

2017 graduates at the Superdome
Tulane graduates stride with confidence into the world after the commencement ceremony in 2017.

That is the main takeaway of a recently released study on Tulane’s economic impact. This report (see “Ripple Effect,” on page 20) reveals that Tulane’s operations, capital investments and other activities contribute $3.14 billion to the Louisiana economy each year and are responsible for more than 19,000 jobs statewide, including 13,934 jobs in New Orleans. The university also attracts $312 million in spending by visiting parents, alumni, potential students and patients.

In other words, what happens at Tulane — our scholarship, research, recruiting, innovations and more — has a far-reaching economic and social impact on our city, state and world. This was true long before Tulane became the economic engine it is today.

From our founding in 1834 by seven young doctors determined to eradicate tropical diseases from their hometown, Tulane has always been an outward facing institution. What our founders discovered about New Orleans’ annual epidemics brought a wealth of knowledge to regions around the world facing similar threats. Protecting our hometown eventually grew into a multimillion-dollar research enterprise that seeks cures globally.

Tulane’s importance to New Orleans and the surrounding region was reaffirmed after Hurricane Katrina when we reoriented our curriculum to ensure that students applied the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to help our struggling city and state recover.

What happens at Tulane — our scholarship, research, recruiting, innovations and more — has a far-reaching economic and social impact on our city, state and world.

MIKE FITTS, president

That commitment to public service remains stronger than ever today and is now coupled with the transformative economic impact of a major research university. America is replete with cities that have been renewed, reenergized and reborn by the presence and power of anchor institutions such as universities. This is nowhere truer than in post–post-Katrina New Orleans.

Since 2006, Tulanians have founded at least 355 companies, a third of which are located in the New Orleans area. This ranks Tulane 21st nationwide in business incubation, just below Duke and above NYU, Dartmouth and Northwestern.

Building our region’s workforce, spurring the startup boom in Louisiana, preparing the entrepreneurs, creators and the artists of our future, and adding employee compensation of nearly $585 million to the local economy, which leads to higher employment overall, is all part of our growing role in the future of Louisiana.

All businesses have some economic impact. But at Tulane everything we do goes back to the community — from improving K-12 education to training the next generation of local doctors; from studying the best method of rebuilding our coast to creating a more educated populace; from preserving folkways to bringing in fresh new talent. And our economic impact will only increase in the future as we add a new science district and residential quad to the uptown campus, expand our downtown campus, and attract more top talent to power New Orleans- and Louisiana-based medical advances, technology, innovation, creativity and discovery.

“What happens here, stays here,” is a good slogan for some places — but not for our university or hometown.